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Giving away $40k: First Federal aids community organizations

Giving away $40k: First Federal aids community organizations

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TWIN FALLS — Castleford High School football head coach Brian Lowry loves that his football team has more than doubled in size over the last few years.

But new players need helmets. And helmets aren’t cheap.

A grant from the First Federal Charitable Foundation will help Lowry’s team afford new gear. The Castleford football team was one of 12 grant recipients announced Thursday at the First Federal Foundation Luncheon at Blue Lakes Country Club.

First Federal gives out $80,000 in grants to Magic Valley causes annually. The foundation selects 12 winners from a group of 40 to 50 applicants. The foundation began with $1 million in 2003, and this December, the foundation will surpass $1 million in charitable donations.

Presentations by this batch of grant recipients were especially emotional, First Federal Foundation Board Chairman Tom Ashenbrener said.

“The diversity of the recipients this year is, to me, astounding,” Ashenbrener said.

He also noted that Magic Valley banks do an excellent job supporting good community causes.

“It’s important for local community banks to give back,” he said. “And they all do.”

Other grant recipients

Horizon Elementary will be using its grant funds on an Americans with Disabilities Act certified playground which will be completed in October.

Gooding Public Library will use its grant funds to work on its maker’s space — an area in the library that allows people to develop hands-on learning skills. The library will likely purchase locking storage containers for items such as soldering guns.

Southern Idaho Volleyball Academy will use its grant award to pay for flooring at its new volleyball facility.

Twin Falls County will use its grant funds at The Safe House, a resource for at-risk youth. The money will be spent on 50 duffel bags. Many kids arrive at Safe House with all of their possessions held in trash bags, The Safe House Program Director Val Stotts said.

United Way of Magic Valley will use its grant funds to purchase a new trailer. The group works to help youth and is also involved in suicide prevention.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Magic Valley will use its grant funds to build a new vinyl-coated fence in order to improve youth safety.

Magic Valley Humanitarian Center will use its grant funds to improve the security system at one of its facilities.

R.A.T. Players (the acronym stands for Random Acts of Theatre) will use its grant funds for future theater projects.

The Minidoka County sheriff will use its grant funds for exterior carriers. Law enforcement officers wear bulletproof vests when they’re on the clock, and those heavy vests can cause hip issues and lower back strain over time. Exterior carriers reposition the weight of the vest higher so that it doesn’t all rest on the hips.

Oakley Valley Arts Council will use its grant funds to finish re-upholstering seats in the historic Howells Opera House.

Community Council of Idaho will use its grant funds to improve its security systems. The agency works with young children, from newborns to 5-year-olds, mostly of agricultural workers.

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